Representatives from Advocate Aurora Health appeared before the Kohler Village Board on June 21 to provide an update on the progress of the new Aurora Medical Center being constructed in Kohler.
President of Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center David Graebner and Victoria Navarro, Regional Director of Planning Design and Construction for Aurora reported that construction is 80% completed. Major medical equipment and furnishings have been acquired and some setup is taking place. An additional 10 physicians in selected specialty areas are being recruited, as well as additional advanced practice providers.
The medical office building is expected to open first in the spring of 2022, providing treatment for orthopedics, sports health, OB/women’s health, cardiology, general surgery, and pulmonology.
The remainder of the campus opens a few months later in the summer of 2022, said Navarro. The new medical center will include a 118-bed community hospital, emergency services, pediatrics, diagnostics and testing, and behavioral health services for adults and adolescents. There will also be an on-site lab, and retail pharmacy with curbside pickup. The emergency department will continue to operate as a Level IV trauma center, but expanded services for trauma care will be added.
While there will only be one extra bed added for behavioral health care, Graebner said $2.4 million is being allocated toward doubling outpatient behavioral programs. Aurora has added three therapists and is recruiting an additional psychiatrist. Part of the medical center design includes outdoor spaces for accommodating behavioral health patients and some of their treatment. In the emergency department, there will be a separate space where behavioral health patients can be taken for care.
The facility will also include spaces for wellness programs and health-related community groups as well as sports health. There will be collaborations with schools, teams, and individuals, and Aurora’s foundation launched a $5 million health campaign to further enhance patient care and support wellness needs and activities in the community.
A nature path with bench seating will loop around the grounds providing areas of respite. The wheelchair-accessible path will be made of recycled composite materials, and wide enough to allow utility vehicles to assist those in need. Emergency call boxes will be located on the path.
The facilities will be equipped with the latest technology and IT infrastructure, and expanded mobile technology for telehealth visits.
Demolition of the existing hospital is expected in 2024, and the property will be redeveloped by a third-party developer. The existing clinic in Sheboygan will remain but will have more room available. The cancer program at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic will also remain where it is. The County building across the street from the clinic was purchased by Aurora for future needs.
Plans are being finalized for a public event at the new medical center for those who would like to tour the facilities before they open for business.